Amsterdam to Hannover to Linkoping by Train
Time to say farewell to Amsterdam and head for my favorite Germany. A ride on the lovely, empty, and spotlessly clean metro takes me to Amsterdam Centraal. After a short issue trying to get through the gate to the trains(an agent had to open it for me as my ticket wouldn't scan) I'm on the platform waiting.
First class on the non-stop IC train was the only option available. 160 Euro for the four and a half hour journey. As I purchased last minute I wasn't able to reserve a seat but it turned out not to be an issue. Even though the compartment I chose showed all four seats taken, only one other man rode with me for a bit. When he got off a couple replaced him. All four seats were never full. The compartment was nice with comfortable seats staggered, so everyone had leg room. The trip was uneventful and we arrived in Hannover on time.
An expensive 3.10 Euro tram ticket took me to my sleeping quarters. I was going to stay past New Years but change my mind and after one night decide to head back to Sweden. It turns out there is a nightly train from Hamburg to Stockholm. I have never been on a night train so was excited to try it out. The price wasn't bad at all. 90 Euro for the twelve hour ride in a couchette, which is a cabin with six beds.
A nice an comfortable IC train from Hannover to Hamburg takes me not to Central station but to Altona. This is where the night train leaves from. It is actually a nice place to layover as there is a mall, lots of restaurants, and so on. I have dinner at Burger King and then sit in Schweinske for a Weissbier. It is nice to only pay 4 Euro for a pint instead of the 10 Euro in Sweden and Denmark.
After my pint I board the train and am impressed. The compartment is actually quite nice. Pillows and sheets are included but one must make their own bed. In the higher classes the beds are pre-made. There is only space for one person at a time so I start as my five companions turn up. A German couple with a little girl and an American couple or siblings that live in Stockholm. When I finish we rotate until everyone's beds are made. The train heads off just as we are settling down. There is nowhere to sit and it is impossible to do anything but lay in the bed, so it really is a train made only for sleeping. The exception is the top bunk. There is enough space to sit up on those.
I am hopeful of sleeping the whole ride but those hopes are quickly dashed. The American guy falls asleep immediately and snores incredibly loudly. This unfortunately lasts the whole trip. There are also quite a few night farts involved but that is to be expected I suppose. The Germans are very nice. The little girl is excited and not sleepy so the mother sits in bed reading to her. They are very respectful. They read quietly and always ask the others if they are being annoying. The girl is respectful and there is no just sticking a smartphone in front of her and letting her watch videos. I'm thankful that there are still some people with manners in the world. Other than my bad luck with the snoring I highly recommend the night train. It is affordable, comfortable, quiet, smooth, and great.
We arrive in Linkoping a little before 8. I have to pack up mostly in the dark. My luggage is under the bottom bunk so I get face to face with the snorer but he doesn't wake up. Only one other person and I are getting off here. She doesn't look well. She is hanging on the wall and bent over like she wants to vomit. I ask if she is okay and she says yes. I don't believe her but wish her well.
I'm going to walk to Simons for breakfast but first stop to admire the reindeer in front of the station. Ten minutes brings me to Simon's but sadly they don't open today until 9. I'm not gonig to wait an hour so I hop on the bus, go home, shower, and fall into a lovely sleep with no snoring.